The pop-culture world got hit with an offbeat vibe during Paris Fashion Week, by the multi-platinum artist Rihanna, she herself, who is no rookie at creating a media frenzy with her fashion appetite.
While her @badgalriri persona has been a part of the mainstream social media chatter for years now her approach to fashion has made her one of the most inventive and daring souls on the fashion market.
Though this is only her second professional design direction— Fenty X Puma: Spring/ Summer 2017 Collection— if you didn’t know her as the celebrity that she is, you would presume that she’s been slaying the fashion industry since the dawn of its creation.
The collection was shown at the Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild in Paris, a 19th-century mansion which showcased Rihanna’s inspiration from the nearby Palace of Versailles. Like many visitors, she left with a stimulating sense of romance and allure.
The mansion was actually the same place where Rihanna shot her captivating Dior 2015 campaign, but it’s more importantly known as the palace where France’s famous Queen Marie Antoinette, once walked the halls.
Oddly enough, Rihanna’s most current magazine cover and editorial with CR Fashion Book was also inspired by the iconic Marie Antoinette. A Coincidence? I think not!
There was surely a direct connection in the collection that translated the extravagant lifestyle of Marie Antoinette into the modern Puma design interpretations. In order to create a more modern reflection of that distant time, Rihanna’s creations took on an imagination of their own once they were put on the models bodies.
There was no one set silhouette, which made the show even more provocative.
Compared to her blatantly gothic designs of the previous collection, the versatility and duality of Rihanna’s personal style was made even clearer as the models started to move from room to room.
It was like a shift in persona, a lighter, much softer approach than the Fall 2016 RTW. Maybe it was the pale pink, pea greens and whites, that all screamed a sense of springtime. I’m not sure.
But these silhouettes drew a closer
parallel to her actual career than ever before. While she has become so mainstream, her current music and fashion direction have both become one of the same: ANTI commercial.
When Rihanna isn’t performing her hit singles, she’s playing with the proportions of the body, both in her iconic street attire, touring costumes and now with Puma’s design direction. Just take a look at her most recent aesthetic while she was on the ANTI world tour and watch a glimpse of her many stage outfits at the 2016 VMA’s, where she accepted the Michael Jackson Vanguard Award.
She too, like Jackson, has made waves in this generations fashion history. She will courageously wear a laced up nude bodysuit one second or step out in a pair of custom made Manolo Blahnik thigh-high belted boots, in the very next moment.
This collection captures that unique style flexibility, with corset overlays, baggy boiler-suits, sheer slip dresses and obscure proportions. And to think, we thought athleticwear was only hoodies, sweats and sneakers. Wrong!
Almost every designs was romantic enough to wear in the bedroom and if you’re bold like Rihanna, you could where them on the streets, too. I think in a subtle way, this collection personally gave her the opportunity to be a little more sly about seeing Drake in her downtime, without the press speculating about a hidden romance. I saw that smeared lipstick meme go viral after the 2016 VMA’s. I see you Rihanna. I see you over there with those corsets and lingerie dresses!
Often more times than not, when a musician tries to enter other sectors of the creative arts (like fashion design), they ultimately end up missing the mark of what people expect from them. We all have such high standards.
Take Kanye West for instance, who’s Spring/Summer 2017 Yeezy collection lacked luster and creativity. There are a few exceptions to that though, Beyoncé’s athleisure launch of the Ivy Park label, the durability of Victoria Beckham’s brand and Jessica Simpson's commercial empire.
Rihanna, didn’t miss the mark at all with this one. Not even the slightest. And with that being said, I think it’s safe to say that Queen Rihanna’s regime is clearly conquering France, if not, worldwide.
Photos by Getty Images
Tyler J. Drinnen, is the Founder and Editor in Chief of iTEM MAGAZINE,
a poet and freelance fashion writer, photographer and abstract visual content producer.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Media Studies from Sonoma State University, where he wrote a weekly Opinion Column For
The Star, dabbled with his own radio podcast format, titled Saturday Nite Scandal, and helped to create one of the first of 25 Professional Student Lead PR Firms in the USA.
From there on, he continued his work by interning with Sonoma Discoveries Magazine and then shortly after wrote and interned for Fashion School Daily, where he solidified his love for feature writing and working with emerging talents from around the world.
In December of 2016, he received an Honorary Master of Arts in Fashion Journalism from the Academy of Art University. And what an achievement that was, to be the first in his program to have graduated a full semester early. Bringing him to four degrees in a short five and a half years, nothing will stop him from bringing art to the eyes of many.
He has worked in the fashion industry for nearly a decade, from commercial retail management to corporate level ghost writing. Now - he the poet - T.J.D. takes his life public with the independent launch of the urban California lifestyle based fashion-art movement, iTEM MAGAZINE: A Platform For Rising Artists.